Classic French Crème au Caramel

Classic French Creme Caramel

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
383 Calories
26g Fat
30g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 383
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 186mg 62%
Sodium 86mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 7g
Calcium 126mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are many classic French foods found throughout the world, none more so than a crème au caramel - also known as crème caramel. This silky, unctuous dessert is a show stopper for a dinner party but is equally at home on the tea table. 

Not only is the flavor mellow, sophisticated, and versatile; this bistro classic can be made up to one day in advance. Served in an impressive pool of homemade caramel, it needs no garnish other than an attractive plate.


  • 1 cup sugar (granulated, divided)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt and caramelize 1/2 cup of the sugar.

  2. Shake the pan occasionally to stir the sugar and evenly distribute the color. The sugar is caramelized when it has turned a uniform light tan color. Note: Watch this process very carefully; you cannot walk away, as it can catch very quickly and go from lovely golden to black in a few seconds. 

  3. Evenly divide the caramel among eight ovenproof ramekins.

  4. Swirl the caramel inside each ramekin to coat the sides and bottoms completely.

  5. Arrange the ramekins in a 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch deep baking pan.

  6. Preheat oven to 325 F.

  7. In a clean saucepan over medium heat, stir together the milk and cream just until it begins to scald, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not allow the liquid to simmer or boil at any time.

  8. Remove the pan from the heat.

  9. Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the eggs.

  10. Allow the sugar-egg mixture to rest for five minutes.

  11. Slowly add 2/3 cup of the hot cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly.

  12. Stirring constantly, add the tempered eggs and cream back into the hot cream in the saucepan.

  13. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract.

  14. Carefully pour the hot cream mixture into the ramekins.

  15. Pour boiling water into the pan holding the ramekins until the water level reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  16. Bake the custard for 30 to 35 minutes, until the custard is just set. (Overcooking will remove the silky texture for which crème au caramel is famous.)

  17. Remove from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool in the water bath for five minutes.

  18. Remove from the water and cool the custard at room temperature for 20 minutes.

  19. Run an offset spatula or butter knife around the edges of each ramekin and invert the custards onto serving plates.

  20. Serve them at room temperature or chill for up to a day before serving.

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